Many of us start the new year with fitness resolutions, but when we get back into real life after the holidays, even the best intentions can fall by the wayside. The trick is to identify obstacles and shake up our routines so that our fitness goals fit into our daily lives. Use these strategies to do just that and keep your fitness resolutions all year long.
#1 Set Realistic Goals
Whatever you want to accomplish, whether it’s losing weight or simply getting stronger, set a goal so you know what you’re working toward. Self recommends starting easy so that your goals are realistic and attainable. If you set unrealistic goals, you’ll just end up feeling like a failure. As you make progress, goals should evolve so that they challenge you, while remaining realistic. Goals should also be specific so you can track your progress. A great example of a specific goal is to do attend a certain number of exercise classes each week (you choose the number based on what you can realistically accomplish). CNN recommends setting a date-specific goal, like signing up for a race, so you’re training for a specific target.
#2 Track Progress and Reward Yourself
A goal doesn’t do much good without a way of tracking your progress. Use a fitness diary to jot down what you accomplish at each workout, or you can use a fitness app on your smartphone. Tracking your progress helps keep you accountable to yourself, and it gives you a visible reminder that your goal is in sight. When you reach your goals, reward yourself for sticking with it. Make your reward something that helps keep you going, like new workout clothes or a water bottle with an inspirational quote on it.
#3 Identify Obstacles
When we set fitness resolutions with the best intentions, we don’t always think through how obstacles can make it harder to keep them. Once you identify obstacles, you can find ways to overcome them. Part of that means being realistic about what you’re truly willing and able to do. For example, if your resolution is to get up and exercise early every morning, but you just aren’t a morning person, you may be more successful exercising another time of day. Along the same lines, you’re more likely to fall off the wagon if you’re trying to make yourself do something you really don’t enjoy. If the typical gym routine isn’t fun for you, think outside the box and try dance, sports, hiking or any other physical activity that you would actually want to do.
#4 Expand Your Goals to Include Mind & Body Wellness
There’s no question that exercise is great for both mind and body, but expanding your fitness goals to include a holistic approach to healthy living will make an even bigger impact on your life. This is especially true for anyone in recovery from addiction. Recovery is a hard road, but working out in recovery is a powerful way to relieve stress and build self-confidence.
To get the maximum benefit to both mind and body, try exercises that include a meditative component, like yoga and hiking. Yoga teaches you to focus only on the present moment; being able to let go of your worries and struggles with recovery, even briefly, can be the best medicine for you. Other workouts like rock climbing and hip hop dance are fun and develop both mental and physical strength. When you do workouts that provide mental clarity, the combined mental and physical benefits you see will make it easier to stay on track.
What many people don’t realize when they make New Year’s resolutions is that staying on track with fitness goals requires planning and commitment. Simply making a resolution is only the first step. When you use these strategies to turn your fitness resolution from a wish into a goal, you have the best chance of making it stick not just for the year but as a new lifestyle that lasts longer.
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